ECAC Finals Notebook
by Avash Kalra/Staff Writer
ALBANY, N.Y. This weekend, fans in the Albany area have enjoyed the ECAC Final Four at the Times Union Center, and now, they can look forward to enjoying ECAC hockey for a few years to come.
In his address to the media on the state of the league, ECAC Commissioner Steve Hagwell announced Friday that the ECAC Championship Weekend is staying in the area.
"We have agreed to extend our contract with the Times Union Center through 2009-2010," said Hagwell. "We're currently in the second year of a three year agreement, but we have decided to extend it."
"The relationship with the Times Union Center and this league is great. They've been tremendous and very supportive of us. We all want the same thing each year, which is a sellout. We strive to get as many people here as we can. They're doing everything they can on behalf of the county to be supportive of us, and we value the relationship."
Hagwell did note that the league explored other options, but ultimately decided that Albany was where they wanted to stay.
F — Ben Nelson, Quinnipiac
F — Chris D'Alvise, Clarkson
F — Shawn Weller, Clarkson
D — Reid Cashman, Quinnipiac
D — Drew Bagnall, St. Lawrence
G — Bud Fisher, Quinnipiac
Most Outstanding Player: Chris D'Alvise, Clarkson
After the game, D'Alvise, who had a goal and two assists in the decisive final period, commented on the mood of the Golden Knights locker room entering the third period of the championship game down by two goals.
Said D'Alvise, "To tell you the truth, I was really frustrated, and I think the team was as well. But I give full marks to all our senior leaders and our captain Nick Dodge, who told Coach [Roll] not to even come in. The mood went from really bad to everyone being on cloud 9. We went into the period thinking the score was just 0-0."
WEATHERING THE STORM
While ECAC final four participants battled on the ice inside Albany's Times Union Center this weekend, everyone — the arena staff, the media, and especially the fans — who made it to the rink had to battle on the ice and snow outside first. A treacherous blizzard dropped almost two feet of snow Friday on New York's Capital District, shutting down roads and slowing traffic all across the region.
But thanks to the work of diligent and competent road crews, as evidenced by dozens of snow ploughs all across the city, Championship Weekend went on as planned.
Despite the weather conditions, attendance for the event was more than respectable, with 5,565 fans in the stands for Saturday night's championship game.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
"I wouldn't say the officials went overboard. They apply the standards as they are instructed." — ECAC Commissioner Steve Hagwell, on the league's officiating, particularly earlier this season.
"We've talked about it at times. People have differing opinions on it, but we value it. It has importance, and it certainly has importance this year. Very much so. It's important to the teams and to the league overall." — Hagwell, discussing the consolation game.
"We try to preach that it's really not pressure. I think the guys hopping on the plane to go to Afghanistan — that's a fair amount of pressure. For us, it's opportunity. It's a chance to keep playing with guys you love, with guys you care about." — St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh, putting this weekend's hockey games in perspective.
"The younger guys won't know what it's like to be looking down the barrel of the gun until it's their turn, when they look and face the fact that that night might be the last time they every play in college. And that feeling is a pretty emotional one." — Marsh, on the fact that his seniors were faced with the end to their careers heading into Saturday's third-place game.
"There are nights where you're not going to score goals, when a goalie stands on his head. It doesn't mean you stop playing. It doesn't mean you pack it in because that's the easy way out. We've preached all year that the easy way out doesn't get you anywhere, and nothing worthwhile is easy." — Saints senior captain Drew Bagnall, who had two assist, including one on the game-winner, against Dartmouth.
"Mike's a very competitive guy. When that first goal went in, he was upset about it. Then the second one went in. The battles around the net are really tight. There's a lot of confusion around the net. I just wanted to settle Mike down and settle our team down. Obviously, St. Lawrence was on a roll." — Dartmouth coach Bob Gaudet, on the timeout he took after the Saints tied their game at 2-2.
"Anytime you go into the future, there's no certainty in your future. And for us to win two playoff series, for us to get to this prestigious tournament that so many great teams have played in, and for us to get to the championship game and have a two goal lead with a chance to win it going into the third, I don't have any regrets. I'm awfully proud to have played with the 20 guys in that room and to be part of the Quinnipiac family." — Bobcats captain Reid Cashman, commenting on the end of his collegiate career.